Former Columbus politician charged with kidnapping, domestic violence charges in Cobb
After a warrant was issued by the Cobb County Police Department, a former candidate for mayor of Columbus, Georgia, Zephaniah “Zeph” Baker, has been arrested on several charges, including kidnapping a woman and her child from a home in Mableton.
The charges stem from an incident last Tuesday where Police accused Baker of attacking a woman, then kidnapping her and her 3-year-old child, driving them from a home in Mableton to his parent’s home in southwest Georgia.
According to the warrant, Baker punched the woman in her face and head, causing abrasions to her left cheek, eye and forehead, along with swelling to her right eye and ear. The woman told police she could not hear out of her right ear following the incident and her daughter witnessed the violence.
Police also allege Baker dragged the woman on the floor and forced her and her child into his Dodge Ram pickup truck, where he made her sit on the passenger side floor of the truck. The woman received “visible marks” to her right shoulder, both arms and wrists, chest, hip area and legs, police said.
With a pistol on his lap, Baker drove the woman and child around the metro Atlanta area before driving to the Columbus area. He eventually dropped the mother and child off at his parents’ home in Butler, about 50 miles east of Columbus, police allege.
The incident began with the attack Tuesday morning between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. at a house off Floyd Road in Mableton, the warrant says.
The Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office said that its Drug, Gang, and Fugitive Unit arrested Baker around 12:45 a.m. Saturday, with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service. Baker was booked into the Muscogee County jail.
Baker is charged with:
- Kidnapping, a felony
- Aggravated assault (disfigure), a felony
- Possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, a felony
- Battery (family violence), a misdemeanor
- Third-degree cruelty to children, a misdemeanor.
Baker awaits being transported back to Cobb County, where he will face charges related to the outstanding warrants.
Baker, who graduated from Carver High School and Columbus State University, ran unsuccessfully for Columbus mayor in 2010 and 2018, the Georgia House of Representatives in 2008 and 2022, and Columbus Council in 2014.